If you are feeling nervous, nervous is good. All right? It makes us stop thinking about things. It makes us ready to play. If you’re nervous, that’s fine. Feel nervous.

Lacrosse coach Trevor Tierney quoted in John McPhee’s “Pioneer”. I like the “stop thinking about things” part–I’ve never been distracted while nervous. Nerves and focus go hand in hand.

The best way to describe it is I’m like this energy-gathering dynamo. I suck in the energy from the crowd and right at the point they’re drained, ready to slump over and fall over and pass out, I bring it to a crescendo and [expletive] shoot it all back at ‘em. And then I’m [expletive] slumped over and ready to pass out and they’re energized and ready for the next artist or end of the party or whatever.

Interview with Coolio, describing what it’s like to perform.

The crisis in performance is, I believe, based on one simple fact. When it started, rock n roll was dance music. One day we stopped dancing to it and started listening to it and it’s been downhill ever since. We had a purpose, had a specific goal, an intention, a mandate, we made people dance or we did not work, we didn’t not get paid, we were fired, we were homeless. That requires a very different energy. To compel people to get out of their chairs and dance, it’s a working-class energy, not an artistic, intellectual, waiting-around-for-inspiration energy. It’s a get-up, go-to-work-and-kill energy. Rip it up, or die trying.

Little Steven (via austinkleon). There’s some good discussion of this in How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll. A while back I tumbled one of the good quotes about music critics versus those who dance.

We have to start the concert at 8:00 and we have to stop sometime because the halls are rented for a certain time but the music goes on in your mind before and after you play. It’s really just an agreement you make to stop at a certain time. On record, it goes for 40 minutes because an album has these dimensions. It’s just an agreement. But really the music goes on.

Interview with Kraftwerk. Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider talking with Synapse Magazine. September, 1976. On a side note, Ralf und Florian is a fantastic album.

Writing as real-time performance « Snarkmarket

This is very interesting.

Think instead of a short story writ­ten with play­back in mind. Writ­ten for play­back. Typ­ing speed and rhythm are part of the expe­ri­ence. Dra­matic dele­tions are part of the story. The text at 2:20 tells you some­thing about the text at 11:13, and vice versa. What appear at first to be tiny, ten­ta­tive revi­sions turn out to be precisely-engineered sig­nals. At 5:15 and para­graph five, the author switches a character’s gen­der, trig­ger­ing a chain reac­tion of edits in the pre­ced­ing grafs, some of which have inter­est­ing (and pre-planned?) side effects.

Writing as real-time performance « Snarkmarket

Brian Sacawa on playing unfettered, taking classical music out of the grand halls and into alternative venues. A lot of the talk focuses on music groups reaching new audiences, but like he says, it can be great for the performers, too. It’s liberating.